River Valley

Wed
22
Apr

Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library seeking stories about “Life without the Black Hawk Bridge” for May program

Saturday, March 17, 1945, traffic drove across the Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing and the nearly three-mile dike between Iowa and Wisconsin much like it had done for the previous dozen years for jobs, school, shopping, entertainment, dating and all the other pastimes of busy lives. The next day that vital link over the Mississippi River would close for a decade.

Helping to break up ice on the river, the Coast Guard cutter Fern had passed Lansing on its way up the river the previous Thursday. The highest water in 25 years was predicted for that weekend, and by Sunday, March 18, the high water had arrived, pushing the broken, foot-thick chunks of ice under - and into - the dike bridges. The Big Slough and Winneshiek Slough bridges along the dike gave way that day, cutting off that traffic route between Wisconsin and Iowa.

Wed
22
Apr

Lansing City Council approves more summer hires, discusses pandemic concerns for marina

by Alexis Johnson

The regular meeting of the Lansing City Council was held Monday, April 20. The discussion centered around the consent agenda, transfer of funds, Marina report and Parks report.

Resolution #938 is a resolution approving the transfer of funds from the restricted gifts special revenue fund to the general fund. A motion was made and seconded to approve the transfer of funds to help finance the Splash Pad project.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the council discussed concerns regarding the City Marina. When the marina opens up May 1 the public bathrooms will remain closed due to the virus. New guidelines from the State of Iowa are now in place in this area to keep a six-foot distance from anyone who is not in a person’s own household.

The guidelines are dependent upon what the State decides is necessary following the current April 30 deadline expiration.

Wed
15
Apr

Friends of Pool 9 postpones Clean-Up

After making plans for its 2020 River Clean-Up, the Board of Directors of Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) has voted to cancel the clean-up for the present time, based on the coronavirus danger to all participants. It may take place at a later date this spring, if the opportunity is available.

Wed
15
Apr

Public boat ramps and fishing accesses are still open - stay safe and keep physical distance

While public boat ramps and fishing accesses are still open across Iowa, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds boaters to abide by the physical distancing protocols recommended by the state to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Boat ramps have been crowded this past week with the warm weather. The DNR advises only one boat use a ramp at a time to help prevent contact with other boaters.

A day on the water could provide the calm people need right now. Boaters need to be sure to follow these recommendations to keep themselves and their family safe:

• Keep at least six feet of distance from other boaters and avoid popular areas where people congregate.
• Stick with immediate family, but keep groups to fewer than 10 people.
• Bring along hand sanitizer.
• Clean surfaces that others may have touched (e.g boat dock handrails) with wet wipes.
 

Wed
15
Apr

Contributions to Lansing Splash Pad should be made by April 20 to be included on signage

Lansing Splash Pad Project Coordinator Arlen Wonderlich reports that the finishing touches will be completed on the new splash pad in Lansing in the next three to four weeks. The Lansing Park and Recreation Board acknowledges the businesses, organizations and the people who contributed with grants, cash and in-kind donations to make this project a success.

A sign is being constructed to inform the public of the rules for using the splash pad and also to recognize the businesses, organizations and  people for their contributions to the project. The information for the sign will be sent to the sign company by April 20.

Last-minute tax deductible contributions can still be made by sending a check to the City of Lansing and writing “Splash Pad” in the memo section on the check. Contributions may be mailed to: City of Lansing, P.O. Box 470, Lansing, IA 52151.
 

Wed
08
Apr

Searching for owner of wandering boathouse ...

Since last fall, Bill FitzGerald of Lansing has been trying to find the owner of the boathouse pictured at right (front and rear views) that drifted into his dock property on the banks of the Mississippi River along the north end of Front Street, Lansing. FitzGerald said the boathouse apparently broke free during high water levels late last fall from its original location, which is believed to be somewhere in the Shore Slough area further north of Lansing. FitzGerald said he discovered the boathouse nestled in between the river bank and his boat slips, as pictured in the lower photo, noting the narrow area the structure had to float through to come to rest where it did. He tied it up to an adjacent boat slip to make it more visible to passersby in hopes someone would recognize it and make claim to it. The boathouse was frozen into that location all winter and currently sits in the slip area pictured in the top photo at right.

Wed
08
Apr

Lansing City Council postpones citywide clean-up due to COVID-19 outbreak; Garage sales prohibited, local parks closed

by Alexis Johnson

The regular meeting of the Lansing City Council was held Monday, April 6. The discussion centered around the consent agenda, street report and a COVID-19 update.

The consent agenda consisted of council meeting minutes from March 16, payments of claims, and liquor license renewal for Lansing IGA. The consent agenda was approved.

Mark Rethwisch was hired to fill one of the lawn mowing positions within the city this summer. The City is still looking for one more person to apply for another vacant position. A motion was made and seconded to purchase a new plow truck.

All local parks will be closed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Garage sales are also prohibited at this time until further notice. Citywide clean-up day originally scheduled for April 14 has also been postponed.
 

Wed
08
Apr

River-N-Ridge Outdoors wins close battle for Open 4 Business: Fish Tank Edition through Main Street Lansing

Two Lansing businesses, River-N-Ridge Outdoors and Lansing Housing Products, competed for the $2,000 grant award offered to the winner of the local Open 4 Business: Fish Tank Edition competition, as well as the chance to compete for up to $28,000 at the state level through Main Street Iowa. The competition was originally set to take place during the Main Street Lansing Annual Meeting and Dinner scheduled for March 21 and would have featured live pitches on stage to the panel of judges. After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of that event, Main Street Lansing decided to continue with the competition remotely.

Wed
01
Apr

Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library seeking stories about “Life without the Black Hawk Bridge” for May program

Saturday, March 17, 1945, traffic drove across the Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing and the nearly three-mile dike between Iowa and Wisconsin much like it had done for the previous dozen years for jobs, school, shopping, entertainment, dating and all the other pastimes of busy lives. The next day that vital link over the Mississippi River would close for a decade.

Helping to break up ice on the river, the Coast Guard cutter Fern had passed Lansing on its way up the river the previous Thursday. The highest water in 25 years was predicted for that weekend, and by Sunday, March 18, the high water had arrived, pushing the broken, foot-thick chunks of ice under - and into - the dike bridges. The Big Slough and Winneshiek Slough bridges along the dike gave way that day, cutting off that traffic route between Wisconsin and Iowa.

Wed
01
Apr

Friends of Pool 9 postpones plans for annual River Clean-Up

After making plans for its 2020 River Clean-Up, the Board of Directors of Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) has voted to cancel the clean-up for the present time, based on the coronavirus danger to all participants. It may take place at a later date this spring, if the opportunity is available.

The board had selected Saturday, April 18 for the annual FOP9 clean-up of the 90 square miles of Pool 9 of the Mississippi River. Volunteers were to meet at the VFW building adjacent to the ball diamond in Lansing at 7:15 a.m. to sign the Release of Liability form and receive instructions to collection sites, with collecting to take place from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

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